Reflections sought on the theme “To be Irish at Christmas”

Donegal County Council and the Donegal Diaspora project are backing a government initiative to reach out to Irish people abroad over the Christmas period.

Traditionally, over 750,000 people return to Ireland from abroad for the festive season, but that will not be possible this year.

Instead, people are being asked to connect through the “to be Irish at Christmas” initiative.

The initiative has been developed by the Department of Foreign Affairs, and is supported by Local Authorities, cultural institutions, and communities across the country who will all be sharing content to connect with the Global Irish family everywhere.

The Donegal Diaspora Project is urging people to become involved in the initiative by sharing their stories of what it means to be Irish and from Donegal.

To take part, people are urged to post a video, picture or message with the hashtag "IrishAtChristmas" on social media, and also to visit the specially created website "tobeirish.ie".

The To Be Irish at Christmas initiative also a presence on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

The Diaspora project says it has been using online platforms to continue its engagement with Donegal people all over the globe in 2020 and that online engagement will continue in 2021.

While travel opportunities are restricted right now, the project is urging people to plan trips back in the future, with the slogan "When the time is right, keep Donegal in sight!"

Statement in full -

Donegal Diaspora Christmas Message of Hope….

Christmas 2020 will be a Christmas like no other! It’s going to be a very different and difficult Christmas for many this year with very few planning or being able to travel back home to spend the Festival Season with their loved ones.

Traditionally, over 750,000 people return to Ireland from abroad for the festive season. Many families have stayed digitally connected during 2020 and many will continue to connect virtually over Christmas, so it is with this in mind that we are encouraging you to join us in the “to be Irish at Christmas” initiative by sharing your story of what it means to be Irish and from Donegal this Christmas.

This initiative has been developed by the Department of Foreign Affairs, and is supported by Local Authorities, cultural institutions, and communities across the country who will all be “lighting up” and sharing content as to what it means to be Irish this Christmas, to connect with our Global Irish family everywhere.

How to join in? Post a video, picture or message with the hashtags #ToBeIrish #IrishAtChristmas #Éireannach #ÉireannachUmNollaig and visit the specially created website tobeirish.ie which has stories, festive activities and lots of Christmas events over the festive period from 21 – 31 December.

You can learn more about the To Be Irish at Christmas initiative also on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram pages.

The Donegal Diaspora project, like so many others has had to pivot and take advantage of the online platforms to continue our engagement with the global Donegal Diaspora in 2020 and that online engagement will continue in 2021.  We would encourage you to join us to continue our conversations, maintain the connections and build relationships with you, our global Diaspora.

While the Covid-19 pandemic remains ever present in our lives, it is important that we continue to support our tourism and hospitality sector, while doing so in a safe and responsible way and adhering to the latest Government advice.

For those people planning a future visit, County Donegal will be waiting to welcome you. The Wild Atlantic Way with its rugged coastline, breathtaking scenery and fantastic cultural experiences is the ideal choice for a holiday. When the time is right, keep Donegal in sight!

In the meantime, take a look at the Go Visit Donegal website for inspiration for your future holiday!

Fill Your Heart With Donegal: www.govisitdonegal.com

We would like to wish each and everyone one of our global Diaspora family a very Happy Christmas and every good wish and blessing for 2021.